Responses to increasing cigarette prices in France: how did persistent smokers react?

Health Policy. 2012 Jul;106(2):169-76. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.03.016. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


Objectives: (1) To build a typology of persistent smokers' reactions to increasing cigarette prices (persistent smokers were defined as smokers who did not quit because of such increases) and (2) to investigate which factors were correlated with their reactions (we considered three categories: no reaction, trying to quit or smoking less, reducing the cost of smoking).

Methods: We used a French national telephone survey (n=2000; 621 smokers) that included questions about smokers' reactions to increasing cigarette prices, as well as questions about their socio-demographic background, personal time perspective, smoking behavior and reasons for smoking. We used logistic regressions to identify which of these factors were linked to smokers' reactions.

Results: In response to the increasing cigarette prices, 24% of persistent smokers did not change their smoking habits at all, 31% only reduced the cost of smoking (they neither reduced their consumption nor tried to quit) and 45% tried to give up smoking or reduced their consumption (they also frequently reduced the cost of smoking). Male and older smokers, the more educated ones and the wealthier ones more frequently reported no reaction at all, as did those who smoked to improve their concentration or keep their weight down. Younger and unemployed smokers more frequently opted for spending less on cigarettes, as did those who smoked to forget about their problems. Finally, present-oriented smokers were less prone to try to quit or to reduce their consumption.

Conclusion: These findings show the need to increase the price of all tobacco products in cooperation with neighboring states. People's reasons for smoking and their personal time perspectives contribute to their reactions to price increases, and different preventive measures are required for each category of persistent smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / economics
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / economics
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult